“The sound of parenthood is the sigh.” So writes Maximilian Werner in his new memoir “Gravity Hill” which is about growing up, getting older, looking back, and wondering what lies ahead—a process that becomes all the more complicated and intense when parenting is involved. Werner narrates his struggle growing up in suburban Utah as a non-Mormon and what it took for him, his siblings, and his friends to feel like they belonged. Bonding in separation, they indulged in each other, in natural and urban landscapes, and sometimes in the destructive behaviors that are the native resort of outsiders including promiscuous and occasionally violent sexual behavior—and for some, paths to death and suicide.
“Gravity Hill” is the story of the author’s descent into and eventual emergence from his dysfunction and into a newfound life. James Barilla writes of “Gravity Hill:” "This story is not that of Terry Tempest Williams’ ‘Refuge,’ nor is it Amy Irvine’s ‘Trespass,’ Its portrait of the region, the city, the characters, and time are distinctly different, irreverent, and darkly funny. The contrast between the narrator and the Mormon culture of the region was something I’d not seen described before." Maximilian Werner joins Tom Williams for the hour on Wednesday’s Access Utah.